On 16th December, militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 141 people, 132 children amongst them. This brutal attack is not an isolated case, and represents the peak of a long series of terrorist attacks whose ferocity cannot be neglected. It occurred one day after the strike taken place in Sydney Lindt Cafè, Australia, and less than two weeks after “Al Reem Ghost” attack, which took place in Al Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Born in 1961, it pursues a vision of the world in which “every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life”, and reaches, on average, more than 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year.
“Every Day is Human Rights Day”: the Geneva Centre joins the international community in the celebration of the Human Rights Day
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 1.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon meets with world leaders: towards a more transparent and inclusive global governance
On the margins of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has met with senior European officials and Turkey’s Prime Minister in order to discuss pressing issues, such as the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the Ebola outbreak, the threat represented by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and climate change. The Geneva Centre very much welcomes UN Secretary-General’s efforts to engage in dialogue with the Group of 20 in view of a more transparent and efficient global economic governance.
The Geneva Centre is pleased to report on the international Conference on “Challenges to Security and Human Rights in the Arab Region”, which was held in Doha (Qatar) on 5th and 6th November 2014. The event was co-organized by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions.
“Muslims and Islam are not interchangeable terms with terrorists or ISIS.” – stated the Asian American Journalism Association
In recent years, notably since 11th September 2001, there has been a systematic demonization of Islam and, as a consequence, a deliberate rejection to engage in dialogue with its believers. This phenomenon has been intensifying following the creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending to Syria, which has been hitting in the summer and autumn headlines.
On 31st October 1947, at its 101st plenary meeting, the UN General Assembly declared that 24th October would henceforth be officially celebrated as “United Nations Day” and would be “devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for the work of the United Nations”.
A new study warns against ISIL fighters in Libya and gives an overview on Benghazi and Derna warlords’ crimes
A recent study issued by Al Arabiya Institute of Studies sustains that the atrocities perpetrated by the self-proclaimed jihadist groups in Libya are not much different from what the so-called ISIL is currently doing in Iraq and Syria. The practices carried out by Libyan extremist groups, in fact, match with the notion of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which deserve prosecution before the International Criminal Court, whose authority in this context was entrusted by UN Security Council Resolution n. 1970 (2011).
Malek Chebel, Algerian philosopher and anthropologist of religion
The Geneva Centre would like to bring to your attention an enlightening interview that appeared in El Watan, an independent francophone newspaper in Algeria. The interviewer is Narymane Lafer, a Swiss-Algerian journalist, while the interviewee is Malek Chebel, a well-known Algerian philosopher and anthropologist of religion. Chebel has published thirty-three works through which he conducted deep reflections on the Arab and Islamic world, notably on its culture, history and tendencies. He is also director of Noor, a review born in 2013, whose main aim is to promote a better understanding of Islam in Europe and worldwide
The Geneva Centre is seeking highly qualified and dedicated interns to assist in its activities.
Our internships provide candidates with an invaluable opportunity to participate in meetings of the UN bodies and agencies, particularly of the Human Rights Council. This allows insight into multilateral negotiations, as well as UN decision-making processes.
“My internship at the Geneva Centre provided me with an in-depth knowledge of the UN Human Rights Mechanisms and helped me develop strong social and communication skills” – said Ms. Noura Al-Hajeri
From 1st to 19th September, Ms. Noura Mohamed Al-Hajeri, student in International Affairs at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, joined the Geneva Centre for an internship focusing on human rights mechanisms. She was involved in both the Geneva Centre’s daily and long-term activities, and contributed to the substantive organization of meetings as well as of projects of collaboration. After finishing her studies, she will probably join again the Geneva Centre for a longer and more intensive work experience.
Hervé Gourdel, the French tourist recently kidnapped in Algeria, has been beheaded following French President Hollande’s refusal to halt air raids on the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)”. The 55-year-old mountaineering guide had no idea that his hiking trip to Algeria would have cost him his life.
The Geneva Centre joins the International Community in the celebration of the International Day of Peace
As set forth in the preamble of the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed”. It is on the basis of this principle that, in 1981, UN General Assembly Resolution 36/67 formally established the International Day of Peace, to be celebrated annually on the third Tuesday of September, to coincide with UNGA opening session. It was only in 2001, by UNGA Resolution 55/282, that 21st September was established as an official annual international day of peace, non-violence and cease-fire.
22nd Special Session: The Human Rights Council requests the OHCHR to urgently dispatch a mission to Iraq
On September 1st, the Human Rights Council held a Special Session on the human rights situation in Iraq in light of the abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and associate groups.
The Geneva Centre joins the international community in celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the first International Humanitarian Law Convention
The Geneva Centre wishes to join in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, adopted on 22 August 1864, and to pay tribute to this very first effort of codification of modern international humanitarian law. This first convention was then followed by the adoption in 1906, 1929, 1949 and 1977 of various other conventions and protocols dealing with identical or similar matters.
Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention: the Government of Switzerland will resume the consultations suspended in 2011
The Fourth Geneva Convention is at the core of international humanitarian law; its aim is to specifically protect civilians during hostilities.
21st Special Session: the Human Rights Council decides to urgently dispatch an international commission in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
On July 23rd, the Human Rights Council held a Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
The debate around religion and freedom of expression is key when considering migrants’ rights. In particular, the different ways in which the devotees manifest their faith can lead to cultural clashes when in a foreign country.
Navi Pillay, born in 1941 in a poor neighborhood of Durban, South Africa, was appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights in July 2008. Her mandate was renewed for two years beginning September 2012.
On June 27th, 2014, the twenty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council reached its conclusion. The promotion and protection of all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – , including the right to development, have been discussed for the last two weeks in room XX of the Palais de Nations, Geneva.